According to Forrester Research, more and more companies are prioritizing the quality of their customer experience (CX). These companies recognize that increasing the loyalty of their customers can lead to increased revenue for the business. In fact, businesses that know how to deliver consistent, superior customer service and meet customer satisfaction expectations could bring in millions or even billions of dollars more in sales. However, it can be difficult to distill and find practical solutions to address this priority. The following are four customer experience best practices that can help your business effectively improve customer experience.
#1. Study every customer interaction
Customers today expect a personalized interaction where you know who they are, what you’ve purchased, and when you’ve purchased. But in order to take advantage of customer experience best practices, it’s essential to analyze customer interactions at every stage. For this reason, it is necessary to have a 360-degree view of every customer interaction. Your business may hold these interactions across different applications and tools, like email marketing tools, customer service applications, etc., but the more data and customer touch-points you can centralize into system (like a CRM), the easier it will be to understand your customers.
You’ll also be able to study your clients from a global perspective allowing you to analyze your entire marketing and sales funnel to discover purchasing trends, target high-profile customers, and proactively support customers at risk. Until you are aware of all the different customer interactions that have taken place, you won’t have the necessary insights needed to build effective strategies that will improve customer experience.
#2. Keep track of sales and service metrics
If you are serious about customer experience improvement, it’s essential to track the metrics of your customer interactions. Having the right CRM tool in place that provides you with the appropriate performance dashboard, reports, and analytics will make it easier for you to track and act on that data. One metric you should consider is the average time it takes for your sales team to respond to an inquiry. Based on a Forrester study, 57% of online customers are likely to abandon online purchase if they don’t receive a quick response to their questions. By reducing the time it takes to respond to a customer, you will be able to capitalize on these missed opportunities.
Another important metric to consider is the time it takes to get a support issue resolved. A recent report on multi-channel customer service stated 62% of global consumers have stopped doing business with a brand or organization due to a poor customer service experience. Minimizing the time it takes to resolve a customer support issue can decrease customer churn resulting in more repeat business from your customers.
In addition to these metrics, it is important to get a general sense of your customer satisfaction. A popular metric that can be particularly insightful is your NPS (Net Promoter Score). Understanding the landscape of how likely your customer is willing to promote a product or your company is an essential part of customer experience best practices.
#3. Create more personal touchpoints
Try to create a positive customer experience at every touchpoint. For instance, many successful companies use marketing automation software in order to reach out to customers on major milestones, such as birthdays and company anniversaries. While marketing automation may carry that information, it can be doubly effective if key dates are tracked and logged in a centralized CRM system for sales teams to send personalized messages in combination with marketing campaigns. Personal touches like these can help you dramatically increase customer loyalty.
#4. Shift company culture towards positive Customer Experience
Building and fostering a strong culture around the customer experience may seem trivial, but it is the first critical step. However, in order to do this, it’s important to involve senior management early on.
Involving senior management early sends a strong message to the company and helps shift its culture to prioritize customer experience improvement as an overall company goal. In addition, there should be other mechanisms in place to support senior management, such as providing monetary incentives for improving customer satisfaction. However, without the right culture in place, it will be difficult creating a more positive experience for your customers.
With the probability of selling to an existing customer at 60-70% compared to 5-20% when selling to a new prospect, customer experience improvement is a big opportunity to further expand your business. Customer Relationship Management platforms can help manage the customer experience but it is important to find the right solution that is flexible enough to meet your business requirements while still being able to extend and integrate into your existing business applications. Developing a strong customer experience is beneficial for both your customers and business.